Friday, May 6, 2016

Thanjapureeswarar Temple, Thanjavur

Thanjapureeswarar Temple, Thanjavur
Thanjapureeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at the border of road connecting Thanjavur and Kumbakonam in Thanjavur District in the South Indian State of Tamilnadu. This temple is also called as Kuberapureeswarar Temple. It is supposed to be the original temple of Tanjore. Lord Thanjapureeswarar meaning the Lord offers asylum to those surrender to him. The city Thanjavur was probably named after the main deity of the temple, Thanjapureeswarar. It is believed that this temple is older than the temple of Brihadeeswarar.

Legends
As per the legend, a son named Pulasthya was born from the mind power of Creator Brahmma – Manasa Puthra.  Vishwaras was then born to Pulasthya. Though belonging to the Rishi tradition, Vishwaras married a demon lady Kekasi whose heritage is noted for cruel qualities.  She delivered two sons Ravana and Kumbakarna and a daughter Surpanaka representing cruelty. She also delivered Vibhishana and Kubera then. Ravana and Kubera were Shiva devotees.  

Vibishana was Vishnu devotee. Kumbakarna was devotee of his great-grandfather Brahmma.  Surpanaka was the wicked one without any soft quality only searching for men to quench her physical lust. Ravana, through a Shiva devotee, was a womanizer.  Kumbakarna was a glutton. Kubera and Vibishana were exceptional cases noted for their character of highest standards. They had no trace of any demon qualities in them. Ravana had the boon from Lord Shiva that he would not be killed by anyone except by a human.
Kubera, by virtue of his devotion to Lord Shiva, became the ruler of North.  Lord Shiva placed all the wealth of the world in Kubera’s charge with instructions that it be distributed among those working hard honestly and according to their fates. Mother Mahalakshmi acquired eight powers as wealth, food crops, progeny etc.  She entrusted her powers to two youths Sanganidhi and Padmanidhi whom Kubera appointed as his accountants.

These two had their seats on either side of Kubera. Divine sculptor Mayan constructed a special city for them named Alagapuri. Also a palace was built for them with a court hall of exceptional aesthetic beauty where Kubera is seated in all royal paraphernalia. If the devotee suffering from poverty is free of any sin, he would be elevated to high wealthy status instantly. Sanganidhi is on the left of Kubera holding a conch and Padmanidhi on the right with a lotus on hand both symbols of prosperity. They are the two recommending boons to people based on their fate.

Due to the internal feud, Kubera lost his kingdom and treasure to his half-brother Ravana. Kubera started visiting various Shiva temples to get back his glory. He visited this temple which was a small temple then. It is said he did not have to visit anymore temple after this. As Kubera surrendered to Lord Shiva here, Shiva is called as 'Thanjapureeswarar'.

The Lord Thanjapureeswarar meaning the Lord offers asylum to those surrender to Him. The town was also named after the deity as Thanjavur. The Lord is also known by the name Kuberapureeswarar.

The Temple
The main Tower of Thanjapureeswarar temple has 3 stages. This is one of the rarest temples facing westward. After slaying Tharagan, Goddess Durga combined with the God & gave serene appearance to all Rishis. This temple was built before Brihadeeswarar temple. It is believed that Brihadeeswarar temple was built only after worshipping this God. This temple is one among the 88 temples which comes under the Thanjavur Palace Management Committee.

Although it is believed that the temple must be older than Brihadeeswarar temple, there is no visible evidence. The structure appears to be comparatively new. The temple has west facing entrance with a small tower. The west facing sanctum sanctorum enshrines a big Shiva Linga named as Kuberapureeswarar aka Thanjapureeswarar. At the entrance there are idols of Ganesha and Subramaniya apart from the big attractive idols of Dwarapalakas. As usual, the Bali peetham, Nandi mandapa and flag staff is located facing towards the sanctum.

There is a separate south facing shrine for the Goddess Anandavalli. At the entrance of this shrine, there is a Ganesha idol and two big and beautiful idols of Dwarapalikas (females). Nandi is found facing towards her shrine. The wall around the sanctum sanctorum enshrines the niche images of Dakshinamurti, Nataraja, Brahma and Durga. It is rare to find Nataraja as a niche (koshta) idol. There is a small sub-shrine of Chandikeshwarar located. 

In the outer prakara, there are many ancient idols which were discovered nearby are kept. The idols such as Saraswati, Ganesha, Brahma, Shiva Lingas and Dakshinamurti are beautiful. The sub-shrines of Nataraja-Sivakami and Navagraha are also located in this temple. On the way to the Goddess shrine, the idols of Lakshmi and Kubera performing pooja to Shiva Linga are found. It is very unique.

In the outer prakaram Sannadhi for Lingas, Dwarabalagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Gajalakshmi, Saraswathy and Panchamuga Anjaneyar, Sandikeswarar, Brahma, Arthanareeswarar, Kuberan, Sri Ayyappan and Navagrahas. Dwarapalakars are at the entrance of mukha mandapam and Sani and Bairavar are in the mukha mandapam. Ardhamandapam is of vavval nethi mandapam type. Ambal is in a standing posture and there is a mandapam in front of Ambal Sannadhi. Ashtalakshmi sudhai sirpangal are on pillars of the mandapam.

Moolavar is little big in size and tall. It was told that the temple is older than Thanjavur Big temple, 1000 to 2000 years. To prove this there is no inscriptions available. Marathi inscriptions are there on the front mandapam Pillars. Marathi kings might have dome Thirupani. When Kuberan lost all his wealth to his brother Ravana, came to Thanjavur to worship Lord Shiva and got back all his wealth.  Hence Lord Shiva is called as Thanjapureeswarar.

Sri Mahalakshmi occupies her place near Kubera as Dhanalakshmi and Dairya Lakshmi (Dhanalakshmi - Goddess of Wealth & Dairyalakshmi – Goddess of Courage).
Main Deity: Thanjapureeswarar.
Ambal: Anandha Valli Thayar.
Other Deities: Pachaikali, Pavalakkali, Saraswati, Gajalakshmi.
Temple Tree: Prosopis Tree (Vanni maram in Tamil).
Festivals
Maha Shivarathri in February – March, Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December – January, Panguni Uthiram in March – April, Tirukarthikai in November-December and Deepavali in October – November are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Contact
Thanjapureeswarar Temple (Kuberapureeswarar temple),
Thanjavur District, Tamilnadu
Phone: +91-96778 18114
Mobile: 9677818114
Prayers
Deepavali & Fridays are associated with Kubera worship ensuring prosperity, according to our faith. People show their devotion to the Lord with abisheks and vastras.
Connectivity
The temple is at the border of road connecting Thanjavur and Kumbakonam. The Temple is on the main road – on the way from Thanjavur to Thiruvaiyaru, 5 Kms from Thanjavur. Get down after Kodiamman Temple.
Nearest Railway Station is located at Thanjavur & Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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